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Re: <nettime> Questioning the Frame
Aileen Derieg on Fri, 31 Dec 2004 19:38:08 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Questioning the Frame


Since Coco Fusco first posted her article "Questioning the Frame" to the
faces list, I have been fascinated by the diversity of responses across
various different mailing lists. Comparing the different responses from
different lists, though, something is bothering me.

Whereas the post on faces led to some questions and further discussions
that I found very helpful, some of which struck a strong chord, I find the
tone of responses on other lists rather puzzling. In the compilation of
responses that appears on "networked performance"
(http://www.turbulence.org/blog/archives/000493.html#more), I am surprised
by some of the "disqualifying" remarks (e.g. "she seems to have a narrow
understanding of what artists are doing with locative media"; that she
always uses the "same dialectics" in her criticism and it is "of course
better if those arts are done by white male artists"; "the lazy generality
of CF's rant") interspersed with energetic accounts of locative media
projects that would not be thought deserving of Coco's criticism if they
were properly understood and appreciated.

Since I clearly fall into the - probably large - category of people who
don't properly understand and appreciate locative media projects (I'm not
even sure I understand the term, even though I have read it so often), I
can't comment on the content of the responses addressing the relevance and
political implications of these kinds of projects. What I find somehow
disturbing, though, is that all of these responses appear to be written by
men.

Maybe I have missed something, since I am not subscribed to all the lists
where Coco's article has been discussed, maybe there have been other
responses from women aside from faces that I haven't seen. Maybe this is
not a coincidence, though, and maybe all the well informed descriptions of
locative media projects are actually missing the point of Coco's
criticism.

In a way, I hesitate to bring up the question of the various respondents'
gender: Haven't we gotten past that yet? Is it really *still* an issue
that needs to be discussed? I wish that it were not, but that still
doesn't seem to be the case. In her article, Coco brings up the
"categories of embodied difference such as race, gender and class", but
aside from some irritation expressed by a few (I'll take a wild guess:
young? white?) men, I don't see the question of embodied difference being
addressed. How can that be left out of art dealing with ideas of "place"?
Or am I missing something else here?

In her most recent post to nettime, Coco explained the context in which
she wrote her article, the "jargon" that she was responding to. Maybe it
is not "jargon" to people immersed in this specific field, but for myself
I can only say that I was happy to finally see someone questioning the
oh-so-familiar terms in the school's description. I don't think that
questioning Coco's qualifications for raising these questions is an
appropriate response, and I don't think that more and more detailed
descriptions of individual projects changes that.

In any case, I look forward to Coco's response to Brian Holmes' post - I
hope to learn something yet. 
Aileen


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